Even as the Supreme Court continues to debate the legality of the Obama health care law, most specifically the Affordable Care Act’s individual health-insurance mandate, many key initiatives of the plan’s overall intent are here to stay. Critically, they are already changing the entire healthcare landscape and cannot be ignored. To ensure a full share of the benefits, Pharma needs to engage with HIT now and fully understand the new landscape unfolding.
Better living through technology
While most other major industries such as music, publishing, and banking have already seen the disruption and reinvention of the digital revolution, healthcare has been characteristically slow to the party. Fortunately, the HITECH ACT of 2009, designed to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology, has helped to greatly motivate the digitization of healthcare.
HITECH is the first big push into digitization and it is accomplishing its goals. Over $6 billion of the $27 billion allocated has been spent to date. According to recent CDC data there’s been a 33.8% adoption rate for EHRs in NY and over 60% of physicians are using tablets in daily practice (presumably to view EHRs). And judging by the hundreds, even thousands of presenters, exhibitors, and attendees of eHealth conferences such as HIMSS, Health2.0, and the mHealth Summit, the overall market for HIT is extremely robust. Until you walk the many miles of the HIMSS exhibits it’s hard to understand the growth of this market. EHRs are just the tip of the iceberg as entrepreneurs launch new apps and sites while major players like Phillips, Cisco, GE, Dell, and countless others line up to help drive the connected future of healthcare.